Okay, this may turn into a rant…but that’s not how I’m starting out….even though every time I think about it, I see RED.
Remember almost three years ago when my son surprised me with a new car….a Toyota Prius? It was the first new car I've had since the early days of my marriage. I was so stunned that I could barely talk and turned into a blithering, babbling idiot. He took me totally by surprise on Thanksgiving day and I could barely focus on making the rest of the dinner.
Well…I LOVE THAT CAR! I really do. He couldn’t have picked a better car for me…..it just feels like the perfect fit; and it has from day one. I’ve been vigilant about making sure my car is NEVER cluttered with things; and with the minimal driving that I really do for errands and such….I’m so careful when I park in parking lots that I leave enough space so I don’t ‘ding’ someone else’s car when I open my doors….and that I don’t get ‘dinged’ in return. I figure I’ll die with this car, and I want it to look nice for the duration. I’ve already done better by it’s maintenance than my husband did with most of the used cars that he managed to ‘surprise’ me with. Though there were some very nice purchases on his part; there were also quite a few my kids and I would just as soon forget.
But I digress…..
Anyway, everything was running smoothly with my little blue Prius until sometime in March when I noticed a slight scrape and tiny dent on the driver’s side right between the passenger door and the driver’s door. It was right at the bottom of the window level. It was so obvious that a side mirror had done the damage…..right at the same level. Someone (and I’ll refrain from calling them what I really would like to) tried to park their car in the space next to me….and miscalculated BIG TIME. As I stood there looking at the damage, I was shocked that someone could get away with something like that….THEN I WAS PISSED! I knew that the scrape and dent weren’t there a couple of days before. Where had I been? My mind was racing trying to retrace my steps over the last couple of days. Though there was a chance it could have happened in the parking lot of a mall that Jenna and I stopped at; it was more likely that it happened at a favorite restaurant that she and I frequent….and were just at two days before. Their small parking lot is packed all the time, and the parking spots are none too roomy….people park way-too-close to each other all the time. I often go to the very end of the lot where there is a little more room…and less possibility for something like this to happen.
BUT NOT THE LAST TIME WE WERE THERE….which was two days before I noticed the damage. We had to park in the ‘fray’ of everything because there was nowhere else to park. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that was the scene of the crime.
So now I had this ugly little scrape and dent that bothered the heck out of me every time I’d get in my car. I talked about taking it somewhere to have it fixed….even though I hated the thought of spending the $$$ for something that someone else did. My son said, “Mom, you’re bound to get little dings and scratches on the car from time to time when you park it in some places. It happens to everyone.”
True enough, but it’s one thing if YOU are at fault for those scratches and dings; but it’s another thing entirely when someone else does the damage. I can’t tell you how much it bothered me. Plus, this wasn’t just a little scratch that wasn’t that noticeable. In my mind it was a real eyesore on my pretty little car.
Over the next few weeks the paint on that ‘little’ scrape had chipped off and now I was seeing a little rust. More angst. It’s not that I didn’t have many other things that needed attention in my life; but this incident kept eating away at me.
Sometime in April…or maybe May, Joe and I took my car in to have the floor mat fixed and for a routine check-up. We asked if they did repair work on these kinds of things. They didn’t do it there, but they had a name to refer us to. However, when we came back to pick up the car the guy forgot to give it to us…and we forgot to remind him.
Months pass, and now it’s August….just a couple of weeks ago in fact. Jenna and I are once again at our favorite restaurant having a nice dinner. We leave, and I drive her home. I get home and park my car in front of my house. As I’m getting out and walking around the back of the car, I notice another scrape….a fairly long RED one….at the back of the car on the driver’s side. I knew instantly where I got it. Need I tell you how upset I was? I wish to God I had noticed it in the parking lot before we left. I would have checked to see if a red car was parked next to me and if there was any damage on it. I don’t know what I would have done. Gone back into the restaurant and made an announcement that some ‘idiot’ just scraped my car….again. That’s really not my style, but I was just fuming that this happened to me again….and in the very same parking lot. Are the majority of their patrons on an outing from The School for the Blind? That might sound unkind, but I felt so violated!
It’s not that I expected the ‘offender’ to walk into the restaurant and announce, “Hey, I just scrapped someone’s blue Prius. Come up here and I’ll be glad to give you all my insurance info.” I have heard of instances (though rare they may be) where people DO leave a note on your windshield with their name and phone number on it....if they scrape up your car. Of course I’ve also heard that people leave a note with absolutely nothing on it; but they want any possible witnesses to think they are being upstanding and responsible citizens before they make their ‘getaway.’
It didn’t matter…..once again….I WAS PISSED! When I got into the house I immediately called Joe and Jenna to let off a little steam. Jen really felt badly; but I told her I was never parking in that lot again. I think somehow she knew I was going to say that. The funny thing is Joe had just e-mailed the dealership to get the name of the place that could fix my first scrape. He said he was waiting to hear back from them. (Gee, you don’t think he finally did that because of my occasional urging do you?)
Now I felt I had no choice…I needed to get this fixed. Did I want to spend the $$$? NO WAY! But I’d be damned if I was going to let that car start to look like a demolition derby reject. I had to bite the bullet and do it.
After hearing back from the dealership, Joe realized that their referral place wouldn’t be the answer for my comparatively small damages. They really only do more extensive body work. So, Joe found a couple of places in the area….one very close to my house, right down the main drag….and we took my car in about a week or so ago.
The Good: They did a wonderful job on my car…and it only took two days.
The Bad: It cost me $1000….and I’m more PARANOID than ever. ~Joy